Regina Ip, (https://www.linkedin.com/in/reginai/) the chairman at the Savantas Policy Institute has published a long post in the LinkedIn feed. Hopefully, she won’t mind that, for demonstration purposes, I’ve copied it and pasted it here, in the original Chinese. It’s not what she has written that is the point of this article.
Rather it’s this: at the end of the Chinese text, LinkedIn has added a “Translate” button. So I clicked it.
Ever since the mid 1980s, companies have been trying to convince me that there are four services that will demonstrate to me the advantages and success of artificial intelligence. So, while others race to sell the next big thing, I always go back to those four tests. After all, if AI has made great strides, surely it will have solved the problems of those first four areas.
One was for speech recognition. And no, it still doesn’t work with a degree of accuracy and reliability that satisfies me.
The second was for optical character recognition. And while that has improved dramatically, it’s still not good enough: most systems are especially bad at recognising spaces but colons and semi-colons seem to defeat them, too.
The third is for text to speech and, in particular context. This remains a complete and utter failure, so much so that now that voice-over presenters on TV documentaries and news reporters don’t understand inflection and emphasis, that makes the miserable attempts by tech to do it sound a little less bad. But inflection and emphasis are the cornerstones of comprehension of the heard word. Oddly, there are cases where we imagine that we are hearing emphasis – do you sometimes think that, if you ignore your it, your satnav starts to shout at you?
And then there’s the fourth: translation. We all know, at least I hope we all know, that if we put some text into Google Translate what we get out is an approximation, not only of language but also of context. And if Google with its apparent intention to be the big brain that the world has been waiting for can’t do it, what of the others?
LinkedIn is part of Microsoft so it’s a logical assumption that it uses “Microsoft Bing Translator.” Microsoft constantly pushes itself as the next-gen leader in Artificial Intelligence (its marketing people have moved on from The Internet of Things).
For the sake of completeness, I used the Bing Translator and, separately, translated the first paragraph of Mdm. Ip’s posting. I have inserted that into the full translation between square brackets for you to compare them. And, yes, the translation did omit all the paragraphs that appear in the original Chinese version.
All this shows me that, no matter how much effort is being put into so-called artificial intelligence, it’s not good enough to trust the risk and compliance systems of any business to. Two of the biggest companies on the planet can’t fix the challenges set 40 years ago. Why would any bank, etc. trust that same, demonstrably unsatisfactory, technology to protect it when it’s promoted by an industry that is not yet out of short trousers staffed by people who have, in relative terms, barely left their feeding bottles behind?
這件事迅速成為人們茶餘飯後的話題。《經濟學人》（The Economist ）早前一篇文章Losing the title ，把英女王比作著名足球教練阿力士·費格遜（簡稱「費爵爺」）（Alex Ferguson），指出二人同樣要為一小撮經常出現在大眾眼前的「不尋常的人」（unusual individuals）負責，而且「一子錯，滿盤皆落索」（missteps by one means disaster for all ）。英語裏有不少意思相近的字句，例如諺語one rotten apple spoils the barrel 便指一個人足以令整個團隊遭殃。如果想以單字表示「害群之馬」， 則可以用「black sheep」。原來從前的農夫均認為羊是白色的，在一群白羊裏突然出現一隻黑羊便是不祥。此後black sheep 便成為英語裏的慣用語。
英女王和費爵爺均有能力「培養優才」（to nurture young talent to maturity），例如他們致力培育威廉和哈里王子、碧咸和傑斯。不過，有時候為了讓粉絲高興，王室和球隊也需要注入新血，例如迎娶凱特和梅根，以及聘用朗尼和簡東拿。然而，當有些成員的私事影響了整個團隊的利益時，作為睿智的領導者，只能忍痛犧牲這些人才。例如，由於碧咸的「自負」（ego）和「代言」（endorsements）使他分心，難以繼續足球生涯（get in the way of his football），費爵爺把碧咸「解僱了」（sacked）。同樣地，哈里王子伉儷想魚與熊掌兼得，既想擁有王室成員資格，又想越過王室規矩，保留私人利益。英女王別無他法，只能遺憾地放他們離開。
英女王與費爵爺 (撰文: 葉劉淑儀，原文刊載於明報)
[The British royal family is one of the oldest in the world. It is well known that members adhere to both traditional and cumbersome royal rules. Recently, Britain’s royal prince Prince Harry and his wife, His Royal Highness Meghan, have shocked the world by withdrawing from their senior membership of the royal family. Soon, the Queen had made them all, and they were no longer senior members of the royal family.]
The Queen and Lord Fitzgerald The British royal family is one of the oldest in the world. It is well known that members adhere to both traditional and cumbersome royal rules. Recently, Britain’s royal prince Prince Harry and his wife, His Royal Highness Meghan, have shocked the world by withdrawing from their senior membership of the royal family. Soon, the Queen had made them all, and they were no longer senior members of the royal family. This matter quickly became a topic of conversation after tea. An earlier article in The Economist, Intheral, compared the Queen to the famous football coach Alex Ferguson, pointing out that the duo were also wanting to be a small group of “frequent” Unusual people are responsible, and “one son is wrong, full of the disk is all over the place” (misstep by one means means for all). There are many words in English that have similar meanings, such as the proverb one rotten apple spoils the barrel, which means that a person is enough to cause an entire team to suffer. If you want to use a single word to mean “the horse of the evil group”, you can use “black sheep”. The former farmers all thought that the sheep is white, in a group of white sheep suddenly appeared a black sheep is ominous. Since then black sheep has become a idiom in English. Both the Queen and Lord Fitzgerald have the ability to “cultivate talent” for example, as they are dedicated to the cultivation of Princes William and Harry, Besser and Jess. Sometimes, however, to delight fans, the royal family and the team also need to inject new blood, such as marrying Kate and Megan and hiring Lonnie and Jane Donna. However, when the private affairs of some members affect the interests of the entire team, as wise leaders, they can only bear the pain of sacrificing these talents. For example, because of the distractionof the “ego” and “endorsements” of the brackish ” and the “endorsements” , it was difficult to continue his football career , and Hessi “sacked” . Similarly, Prince Harry wants both fish and bear hands, both for royal membership and for his private interests to go beyond royal rules. The Queen had no choice but to let them go with regret. The Queen and Lord Fei (writing: Mrs Ip, originally published in Ming Pao) https://lnkd.in/fGRzNkD